Sadio is a WGEP Sisters to School scholar from Sokone, Senegal. This past December, she won first place in a national essay contest held by the United Bank for Africa Foundation in Dakar, Senegal. The contest received more than 1,000 entries from students across Senegal. The essay prompt was "Does obedience mean giving up one's freedom?"
Notably, the second and third place winners were also young women. However, Sadio was the only one from a rural village while the other winners were from the capital, Dakar. Like all WGEP beneficiaries, Sadio was awarded an academic scholarship because of her family's inability to support her in school. Without WGEP support, she likely would have had to drop out of school, as many young women in rural regions must do. Sadio is an extremely bright and hardworking young woman and we are so proud to be able to support her through the Sisters to School program!
As a reward for winning first place in the essay contest, Sadio received a University scholarship!
Thanks to the support of donors like you, WGEP is able to provide hundreds of girls in rural Senegal with support in the form of academic scholarships, tutoring, computer training, mentoring and healthcare. Thank you for supporting WGEP scholars like Sadio. Together, we are making a difference!
Martha is a graduate of WGEP's Sisters to School program in Senegal. After finishing high school and being admitted to university, Martha returned to the program to thank the Senegal Program Director for her support. Martha wanted to give back in a meaningful way, so she became a summer intern for the program, helping out during her summer break.
Martha was recently interviewed about her experiences and the obstacles she has overcome:
My parents sent me away to Dakar for middle school because they knew I would have better academic opportunities there. I was away from them for 8 years, returning home only during long school breaks. This was very difficult for me because I am very close with my family. I knew they sent me to Dakar because they wanted the best for me, but I missed them so much that I cried everyday. I kept myself busy with studying and working as a maid.
I returned home for high school and was selected as a WGEP Sisters to School scholar for my final year of high school. I received tutoring support to prepare for my final high school exam and performed very well. As a result, I was accepted to Gaston Berger University in Saint Louis, where I recently started my second year.
I am very proud of where I come from. I never want to forget the people who helped me achieve what I have to-date. That is why I became an intern for the Sisters to School program. I hope to continue my education and ultimately become a Communications Director for an NGO. I want to communicate the mission and good work of organizations like WGEP to help more girls like me achieve their dreams.
Thank you for supporting WGEP scholars like Martha!
We are proud to introduce our newest program in Senegal, the Teenage Pregnancy Prevention and Family Planning Program!
This program was implemented earlier this year with the goal of empowering our scholars to make healthy reproductive choices. The program's ultimate goal is to reduce the overall number of teenage pregnancies, thus helping girls stay in school and continue their studies.This year, the program is serving 99 students across five grade levels. Workshop discussion topics are focusing on puberty, sexually transmitted diseases, contraception and healthy relationships. We hope to grow the program next year in order to reach even more young women!
At our scholars' request, we have also been working to integrate more mental health activities into our programs. As a result, 41 middle school & high school scholars were recently able to meet with 4 experienced professional counselors. Our goal is to provide moral support to our scholars who are having difficulties so that they can have the tools and support to stay in school and succeed.
Thank you for supporting important WGEP initiatives like the Teenage Pregnancy Prevention and Family Planning Program!
Fatou is a new WGEP high school scholar in Senegal. Despite struggles to keep up with both her schoolwork and responsibilities at home, Fatou continued to work hard and, with a little support, is now excelling in school!
Here is her story:
"My name is Fatou and I am in 9th grade at a high school in Sokone, Senegal.
I became a WGEP Sisters to School scholar this year. My mother died when I was very young, so my elderly father raised me. My father worked very hard to support our family, but he never had the means to pay for my studies. This year, I wanted to drop out of school because I couldn’t manage our home and go to school at the same time. Whenever I was in class, I would think of my father who had nothing to eat without my help. I couldn’t concentrate on my studies, so the only choice was the stay home and help him.
Fortunately, around this time I was selected for a Sisters to School scholarship! My father was extremely relieved because the program takes care of my school fees and provides me with supplies each month. I also receive tutoring classes, which I greatly need and have wanted for a long time. I can honestly say that it’s thanks to this program that I am continuing my studies.
You do wonderful work and I hope the program will continue on so that other underprivileged girls can be helped and continue their education. With education, they will be able to succeed in life."
Although she had a late start to her education, Ndéye has successfully overcome this setback and become the best reader in her class! Here is a message from Ndéye:
My name is Ndéye and I am 10 years old. I attend a primary school in Sokone where I am in the 4th grade. I became a WGEP program beneficiary in October 2014.
Before the program, I was unable to enroll in school because my parents lacked the means to pay for my education. They had to wait for the peanut harvest each year, hoping to sell enough to be able to pay for my school registration fees. My mother never went to school, so she was unable to help me study at home. As a result, I had difficulties in school, especially with reading. Now, my mother participates in the Adult Literacy classes also offered by the program. With her new skills, she is able to help me study.
I can now read very well—I’m the best in my class and have an A average! Thank you very much for your support and for helping me in my studies.
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